IUP/JSYO String Orchestra Festival

  • The IUP String Area, in collaboration with the Johnstown Youth Orchestra, is excited to invite high school string players to attend the first IUP/JSYO String Orchestra Festival 2018 on Saturday, September 22, on the IUP campus. The Festival is designed to bring string students in the region together in a festive, non-competitive day of music making under the baton of Colleen Ferguson, IUP Symphony Orchestra director, and David Anderson, Johnstown Symphony Youth Orchestra director. 

    The day’s events will include String Orchestra rehearsals, sectionals with IUP string faculty, and a question-and-answer session on how to prepare for auditions and continue music beyond high school.  For attending teachers, there will be time during the lunch hour for an informal discussion about future collaborations for the string community. The day will conclude with a short (30-minute) concert. Festival sessions throughout the day are free to registered participants, parents, and teachers. 


    Pallidio by Jenkins, 1st movement

    Andante Festivo by Sibelius

    Symphony K. 136 by Mozart, 1st movement

    Violin Concerto in A Minor by Vivaldi, 1st movement

    Molly on the Shore by Grainger

    Holberg Suite by Grieg, 1st movement


    • All sessions will take place in Cogswell Hall on the IUP campus.
    • Festival sessions throughout the day are free to registered participants, parents, and teachers. 
    • String teachers of participants are welcome to attend events during the day, including the free lunch.
    • Practice copies of the music are available upon request.
    • Participants should bring their own instruments. Cellists should bring a rockstop. (A limited number of cellos and basses are available for those unable to bring their instruments. Contact Professor Jennings at ljenning@iup.edu to request use of the instruments.)
    • Participants will perform at the Festival Concert at the end of the day. Please bring black pants/skirt and bright colorful top for the Festival Concert.
    • A pizza lunch will be provided for all participants. 
    • The Festival Concert is free and open to the public. Family and friends are welcome.
    • Parking is available in the parking garage located behind Cogswell Hall. The garage may be accessed from either Grant Street or Papermill Avenue (please download the campus map , or use the IUP interactive map). Parking is free on Saturdays in the garage, provided you do not park in a space that is reserved 24/7 (those spaces will be labeled with a placard). You may park in spaces with yellow lines as well as spaces marked “Reserved” that do not have a 24/7 placard. 

    Campus Information

    IUP is located in Western Pennsylvania, about 50 miles northeast of Pittsburgh. The IUP Department of Music serves over 200 undergraduate music majors.

    Directions, campus map, and parking


    Linda Jennings
    IUP String Area Coordinator/IUP String Project Director
    Indiana University of Pennsylvania


    Schedule of Events

    Saturday, September 22 in Cogswell Hall, Room 121

    8:30 a.m. Registration
    9:00 a.m. IUP/JSYO String Orchestra Festival rehearsal, Colleen Ferguson and David Anderson
    10:45 a.m. Sectionals with IUP faculty
    Noon Pizza lunch provided / Tours of Cogswell Hall available
    12:30 p.m. Discussion with attending string teachers, festival conductors, and IUP string faculty
    1:00 p.m. IUP String Orchestra Festival rehearsal, Colleen Ferguson and David Anderson
    2:15 p.m. Q&A Session: Preparing for auditions and making music beyond high school
    2:45 p.m. IUP/JSYO String Orchestra Festival rehearsal, Colleen Ferguson and David Anderson
    4:00 p.m. IUP String Orchestra Festival Concert

    Registration/Teacher Recommendation Form

    Participation is open to advanced high school string players (violin, viola, cello, or bass) in grades 9-12. Students are to be recommended by their high school orchestra director, private teacher, or youth orchestra director. See repertoire list above for playing levels. Students will be accepted until sections are full based on date of recommendation. Teacher Recommendation Forms can be found on this page under "forms." The deadline for Teacher Recommendations is September 8, 2018. Upon recommendation of their teachers, participants will receive further materials and instructions on how to fully register for the festival.


    Colleen FergusonColleen Ferguson is an active performer and teacher of both violin and viola. She holds both a bachelor’s (2002) and a master’s (2004) degree in Music Education from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was also a faculty member of the UT Austin String Project. Subsequently, Ferguson earned both an MM (2012) and DMA (2015) in violin performance from the University of Iowa.

    An enthusiastic teacher of students of all ages, Ferguson taught general music and orchestra in the El Paso, Texas public schools, served as the graduate teaching assistant in violin for five years at the University of Iowa, taught at the West Music Conservatory in Coralville, Iowa, and built a diverse studio of violin and viola students at Eastern Kentucky University, where she also directed the university’s string chamber orchestra.

    She has played professionally as a member of several orchestras, including the El Paso Symphony, Las Cruces Symphony, Ottumwa Symphony, and Orchestra Iowa and has played with Mannheim Steamroller and the Transiberian Orchestra. Ferguson has been an active participant at several international music festivals throughout Europe, including festivals in Germany, Italy, Spain, and Russia. She is frequently featured as a guest artist/lecturer/master teacher at schools throughout the country, including the University of Minnesota at Morris, Cornell College, the University of Texas at El Paso, the Loma Linda Academy, and Florida Southern College.

    She enjoys sharing her knowledge with others and has presented several educational sessions across the United States at national conferences, including the annual American String Teachers Association national conferences, the National Association for Music Education annual conferences, and the Biennial Suzuki Association of the Americas Conference. In addition to performing and teaching strings, Ferguson has a keen interest in the works of Sir Charles Villiers Stanford. Her critical performance edition of Stanford’s Fourth String Quartet was used in a commercial recording project of Stanford’s complete string quartets. This album will be available in September 2018.

    David Anderson David Anderson is thrilled to begin his third season as conductor of the JSYO! Highlights of his first two seasons include performances of Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony, Rimsky-Korsakov’s Capriccio Espagnol, music from Bizet’s Carmen, a collaboration with soprano Jessica Ewell in an excerpt from Verdi’s La Traviata, a side-by-side experience with the Johnstown Symphony Orchestra, and the launch of two honors chamber music ensembles.

    Before relocating to Pittsburgh in 2014, Anderson served for seven years as Philharmonia conductor of the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra, working with young musicians from the Chicago suburbs. During this time, he helped to establish the EYSO program as one of the premier regional youth orchestras in the Midwest. In addition to his work advancing the musicianship and artistry of Philharmonia, Anderson served as the EYSO’s Chamber Music Institute director from 2007 to 2012. Through his leadership, enrollment in CMI more than quadrupled, expanded school-day concerts provided performance and recruiting opportunities, and a series of community concerts was initiated to help the EYSO bring chamber music to a wider audience.

    Anderson is in his ninth season as music director for the Lake Geneva Symphony Orchestra in Southern Wisconsin, and is on the faculty at Seton Hill University, where he teaches the complete music theory sequence and serves as a staff accompanist, and at the University of Pittsburgh, where he teaches courses in aural theory.

    Linda JenningsLinda Jennings is associate professor of cello at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, where she also directs the IUP Cello Choir and the IUP String Project. Jennings received her bachelor of Music degree in cello performance at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. She also holds a master of Music degree in cello performance from the University of Southern California and a doctorate of Music degree from the University of Texas at Austin. She has studied with cellists Geraldine Jennings, Janet Grieve, Parry Karp, Eleonore Schoenfeld, Uri Vardi, and Phyllis Young.

    Jennings is an active solo, chamber, and orchestra performer. She has played in orchestras throughout Texas, the Midwest, and Alaska and served as principal cellist for the Fairbanks Symphony Orchestra, the Arctic Chamber Orchestra, and the Chamber Orchestra of the Alleghenies. She has also appeared as soloist and chamber musician in concerts and festivals in the United States, Mexico, France, Austria, Norway, Thailand, Indonesia, and Haiti. Currently, Jennings is a member of the Arcadia Trio and the Litton String Quartet, IUP’s faculty string quartet-in-residence. Jennings has also been invited to present master classes nationally in Wisconsin, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, and Oklahoma, as well as internationally in Croatia, Thailand, and Haiti.

    In addition to her performing and teaching career, Jennings is a strong proponent for string music education. From 1997 to 1999 she served as the director of the prestigious UT String Project, an internationally acclaimed teacher-training program for undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin. Currently, she directs a similar program, the IUP String Project, which she founded in 2004. The IUP String Project provides a comprehensive hands-on teacher string pedagogy program for IUP string majors and minors. In recent years, Jennings has been invited to teach and provide pedagogy training for music teachers in Haiti and Thailand. In 2014, she served as artistic director and guest artist for the Bangkok Symphony Orchestra Cello Festival and Chiang Rai Youth Orchestra Cello Festival, the first festivals of this kind in Thailand.

    The festival is sponsored by the IUP String Area, IUP String Project, and the Johnstown Youth Orchestra.